Friday, January 12, 2007

its strange to spend so much time thinking about being an american. i traditionally havent spent much time on the subject. it is amazing what effect the debacle of our current presidency has had on us. i have very little experience in the realm of feeling patriotic. i can remember wandering around the monuments of washington dc in the middle of the night (they are all quite well lit at night) on tour back in the janes days. i was moved, as intended, by the enormity of the accomplishment of these men in crafting this american political experiment. that is the only really emotional experience of patriotism i remember having. i find this feeling generally hard to come by for a number of reasons. most recently, i have allowed other people, the wrong people (from both the left and right of me i should add), to define america for me. when i hear americans like susan jacoby speak about america i can recognize the beauty of the acclomplishment we are all a part of. beauty that is of course complicated. what, that is true, isnt? as she spoke about the intentions of our founding fathers to keep a division between church state i felt stirrings of patriotism. these men all believed in god. most were christians. they were wise enough, and susan mentions that the last person executed in france for blasphemy was twenty years before they drafted the constitution, to know that church being seperate from state meant there would be a better chance for true freedom. this is inspired. i know all the usual and cynical complaints about this stuff. they have been dogging my every word as ive written this. i was a teenge punk rocker for a second after all. but cynical criticism is often mistaken for good solid skeptical reasoning. and without noticing, this cynicism can become a refuge that keeps one safe, 'right', and for me at least, ultimately unsatisfied.

in an unrelated story, i am aware of the fact that you are all more interested in music news than in my broader human blathering. fair enough. i am a musician after all. so on that front, negotiations have officially begun with a company about finding a home for my solo stuff. lawyers are talking to lawyers.

27 comments:

juan from buenos aires said...

gracias gracias y gracias for your music.I was so young wen i got a janes tape from my sister, who travel to los angeles cause she had a boyfriend living there, and i ask her to bring me some music (faith no more, living colours)and this band that The Ramones said were so good on and interview for a local rock magazine. I listen to ritual de lo habitual firs 3 songs y me volo la cabeza (blew my head up?)i have to stop the tape cause it was so intense. Good to hear from you man.I got here by chance(?) and i became a reader a week ago. Nice people around and good opinions. saludos desde Argentina

Pst: I dont like blogs taht are centered around one specific thing and forget about everythig else in the word, so keep(?) talking cause you have things to say. by

Anonymous said...

Eric, it is your musical talents that brings me here foremost, but I do enjoy hearing your thoughts on other subjects as well, so hopefully you dont feel like you have to stop yourself from writing about certain subjects. I too was a punk rock teenager and have since grown up, got married, had a child, etc, etc. and its only logical that we start to see the world from different angles as our lives progress (or degress). on a different note, I drove through Big Sur last week and made sure to put on the Deconstruction song of the same name on my iPod. We stoped and ate of the restaurant called Nepenthe. Ever eaten there? Great food and an even better view of the ocean. I seem to remember reading something awhile ago about you living up there for a time after your days in Janes. Is this true? Got any great stories about the area? thanks for your words, Eric

J.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution is an amazing philosophical and political piece of literature. It truly holds up to the test of time in contrast to other great civilizations, but it doesn't promote jingoism which seems to be what people fart out as they hide behind their interpretation of it lately.

be well,

SR

Chris (C. Brian) said...

Eric,

Totally concur w/ your contention that seperation of church and state was a sagacious move. Despite the reality that Founding Fathers were Christian Theists or Deists, they were not in favor of a theocracy or religious hegemony. Pluralism and marketplace of ideas = key . . . the only road to freedom, especially freedom of thought.

Regarding your music and the musical process and all that's involved: how is it to handle, balance, and juggle the artistic, creative component along with the business-legal dimension?

andy said...

neat. whatd you think about the pres address the other night?

ThoughtCancer said...

I, for one, am more interested in your "broader human blathering" than I am in music news. You see, having been a fan of your music for almost 20 years, I know that your music will come when it comes, and fretting about whether your choose to talk more or less about it will not diminish my enjoyment of it when it finally does arrive.

So "blather" on, Eric! I can listen to your music on any of the many CD's I've got in my case (I've memorized most of it!), but tuning in to your blog is a new experience every time.

matt volpe said...

Hey Eric,

I admire your discussions on all topics, diversity is what makes life intersting, and your blog for that matter! I have very mixed feelings on the state of our country today, some days I feel very patriotic and others I am raging liberal. However, one thing I do know is that we have the freedom to articulate our ideas publicly like this place here, and that is a great thing. So please by all means keep on sharing your views and thoughts about it all! But of course, please always inform us about your musical endeavors--as if it weren't for your bass playing and music, my life would not be complete!

chris said...

yeah, this blog is completely refreshing, keep it up eric.

-ea. said...

juan- bienvenidos.

-ea. said...

j. - nepenthe. belle and i were there two weeks ago now. i was in search of a cappuccino. not good. you are so right though, view is spectacular. i believe orson welles gave it to rita hayworth as a gift. at least thats how legend has it.

tis true that i detoxed from the janes addiction experience by renting a place up there in '92 for a few months.

thinking about it, i dont really have any stories from up there. that is precisely why i appreciate it so. i go there when i dont want anything to happen. read. fuck. play chess. watch for whales. not good fodder for stories but really good for spending life time.

-ea. said...

sr.- right on.

-ea. said...

chris c. brian- interesting question. in my youth i was always wary of the effect that the blending of creative/business would have. i have found as ive gotten older my approach to the creative life is more of an artisan rather than an artist. i consider what i do the same a carpenter making a chair. i am a small business owner. i am interested in making the best and most interesting music i can. when that part is finished, i am interested in finding ways to distribute the work. no real conflict. all inter- related to the same end. getting the best product to the most appreciative ears. all interesting.

-ea. said...

andy- i thought our fearless leader looked a little more human for the first time. human frailty? i think the plan he presented us with was really 'stay the course' repackaged.

my prediction still holds that i believe we will wind up trying to almost invisibly navigate or steer the civil war with a diminishing traditional troop level. while trying to position ourselves to continue a relationship with the 'winners' of the conflict. so that in the end we can stay in the region with the cia and delta forces fighting extremists for many years. i believe this is the eventual outcome whether it happens now or a few years from now. unfortunately i think this 'surge' just means that more american kids will have to die on the way there.

-ea. said...

thoughtcancer- right on.

-ea. said...

matt volpe- this is interesting. "some days I feel very patriotic and others I am raging liberal". you see this is what i was speaking alluding to in my post. in an unexamined way i have always thought this same way. why do i have to choose between liberalism and patriotism? obviously this country is far from perfect in the application of its principles but that seems like a false choice.

Anonymous said...

liberalism and patriotism aren't mutually excusive. When I rail against the current admins policy, I am invariably assaulted with questions that masquerade as intelligent queries, but are really veiled attempts to degrade and humiliate me based on their assumtion of what patriotism is all about. My response is we are a far better country than one to hide behind mistruths and disingenuity. Veritas always.

Anonymous said...

Oops.

Be well,

SR

Tanya said...

The manipulation of how we look at patriotism is just another extension of the atmosphere that has been generated.

One thing that struck me is when people generally describe themselves, it's not only as American, but so many of us throw in the Irish, or German or whatever fill in the blank heritage you want. It's always seemed to be more prevalent to have this ancestral connection in the forefront.

It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court appointments made during this current administration will effect the next few terms and everyone's view of the Constitution.

dominic di zinno said...

i like it when you blather on and on... doesn't phase me in the least.

on the Founding Fathers: i'd like to think that Deism was more prevalent in the establishment of the United States than was Christianity; and i think there is evidence to suggest the truth of it.

-ea. said...

dominic- you are absolutely right. in researching all this more specifically this morning i am similarly inspired by the political wisdom of those guys still. always funny how unexamined and unclear phrases like "founding fathers" get bandied about in pop culture and are misrepresented by poser pundits; not unlike the example of this of my own here. thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

eric, did you happen to catch the documentary on the Jonestown Massacre (the People's temple, not the band) last night on the History Channel? I've always been interested in Jonestown, Waco and other types of cults and the people who join them.

If you didn't see it, try to catch it when it airs again.

Curt

Anonymous said...

Eric,

http://www.loosechange911.com/

Conspiracy theory nonsense, or reality? etc, etc.

I personally think it's healthy to have this stuff out there. I'm interested in your opinion.

Thanks, Jim

Anonymous said...

Eric, a few questions. If you're inclined towards patriotism slightly, yet don't you think that the world would be better off if there was no such thing.

Also, in a system such as democracy, to what extent do we owe loyalty to the executive position? Is loyalty to the state and loyalty to the leader somehow connected, or mutually exclusive?

I love your stuff. Your music never fails to "blow my head up".

Thanks - Mark

-ea. said...

curt- right. thanks for the reminder. ive not seen the doc but i remember seeing an ad for it and wanting to see it. i will ask tivo to find it for me. as i a kid i was aware of it happening. but at that point it seemed just on the periphery of my ability to understand what had really happened. thanks again.

-ea. said...

jim - without looking again, if i recall correctly this is the short about how it wasnt actually a plane that hit the pentagon etc. i enjoyed watching it. true? not likely imho. on my list of someday conceptual art show ideas, i thought it would be cool to find events that really happened and purposely find false patterns in the data to create 'plausible' conspiracy theories. we have a remarkable ability to do this as a species. confirmation bias e.g.

-ea. said...

mark- interesting questions. of course brings up more questions for me. we could talk for hours on these. loyalty? i think loyalty is something earned. i feel loyalty to my wife, not because of her title but because of her character. what exactly does patrioism mean? i sometimes feel, in an unexamined way, an emotional emotional experience that seems like pride about the country of america. but i usually try to stay wary of this feeling. attached to the back end of it is the idea that i want my team to win and your team to lose. that isnt what my best self wants. but i think the american experiment is astonishing and the overall effect on the world has been positive. and i continually enjoy the freedoms and wealth that this country affords me. is that patriotism or just appreciation? i dont know.

Matt P. said...

Some blogs are interesting, some are not. I read Scott Adams' blog not because I want updates on Dilbert, but because I want to hear his particular viewpoint (and because I'm a geek, but that's neither here nor there). Your blog is interesting because you are a genuinely thoughtful and interesting person, and I want to hear your particular viewpoint. Although I also like hearing about what you're doing in the world of music.

Matt